Chronic stress occurs where an individual is subject to successive stress producing events, e.g. a battered wife in a domestic situation. While violence might only occur occasionally, its prospect is always close at hand.

Acute stress arises from more catastrophic events which are sudden and immediate (e.g. death of a spouse or child, personal injury or illness, divorce, etc.)

In this case, even though the actual cause of stress could be sudden and short lived, its effects could persist for a long time.

Not all stressful events have a dramatic effect. There are however certain life events which have a mild stressful effect which you might not be aware of. The addition of a new member to a family, a job promotion, change in diet or sleeping pattern, or even the Christmas season can cause minor stress. Minor stressors or “hassles” are not catastrophic, but can be damaging because they are pertinent and cumulative (i.e. if they recur over a long period, they can produce an accumulation of stress; and because they are related to insecurities, we don’t usually share the burden which they produce).